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Dubai leads hotel development in GCC

posted on 29/01/2005: 744 views

As many as 80 new hotels are being developed in the GCC which together will add 7.8 million room-nights by 2008. They will require 18,947 Airbus A380 trips per year to reach that figure in the four- and five-star hotel sectors, according to a recent survey by TRI Hospitality Consulting. "This calculation is based on a hotel industry average double occupancy factor of 1.3 people per room and a 533-seat configuration for Emirates A380 aircraft, due for delivery from 2006," it said.

The survey identified 80 upcoming hotels and 21,283 future rooms in the Arabian Peninsula the equivalent of 7,768,295 room nights of supply per annum. "The largest single market remains the UAE, with 11,922 rooms due to become available between now and 2008 (with 9,628 in Dubai alone)," the survey said.

"The GCC markets expected to make the largest gains are Qatar, with a projected 145 per cent increase in room supply, and Kuwait, with an anticipated 75 per cent increase in room supply."

The markets expected to make the smallest gains in available rooms per annum over their existing supply are Bahrain (23 per cent), and Saudi Arabia (6 per cent) which is distorted by a very large number of four- and five-star hotels.

Dubai expectedly leads the developmental activity. "The large-scale landmark hotel and resort developments currently underway in Dubai speak volumes of the tremendous growth of the emirate as an exciting tourist destination," said Peter Goddard, managing director of the Dubai office of TRI.

"On The Palm, Jumeirah, there's a great deal of buzz surrounding all of the proposed hotel projects. According to our research, nine are confirmed so far. There will be 30-40 hotel projects when The Palm is complete."

The area of Dubai with the most confirmed hotel developments is Sheikh Zayed Road/Al Barsha, with 12 future hotels confirmed, offering 2,948 rooms. Included among them is the five-star, 250-room Armani Hotel in the Burj Dubai development, due to open in 2008, and the five-star, 400-room Kempinski Hotel in the Mall of the Emirates, due to open this November.

On Dubai's Jumeirah coast, seven hotel and resort developments were identified as confirmed. Among the six confirmed hotels and resorts north of Dubai Creek are the five-star, 225-room Park Hyatt at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, and two five-star deluxe properties, a Four Seasons and Inter-Continental, at Dubai Festival City.

Elsewhere in the UAE, Abu Dhabi's future supply of five confirmed hotels includes the landmark Kempinski-operated Bani Yas Palace Hotel and Conference Centre, while Fujairah's four confirmed hotel developments include the five-star Kempinski Fujairah Resort and the Robinson Club.

"Landmark projects for Dubai have acted as a catalyst for the whole region," said Gavin Samson, TRI's managing consultant in Dubai. "The other Gulf states are trying to emulate Dubai's success as they build infrastructure and improve tourist arrivals, or stem the outflow from their own countries."

In Qatar, where the hotel sector has been given new impetus by the staging of the Asian Games in 2006, there are 13 confirmed hotel projects with a future supply of 3,118 rooms by 2007.

The Pearl Island project alone is reported to have three hotels with 900 rooms opening in 2006. Notable among the other hotels listed on TRI's website are a five-star, 350-room Grand Hyatt, due top open in 2006, and a five-star, 225-room Four Seasons, due to open in 2005.

In Kuwait, where the Kuwait Hotel Owner's Association has revealed a flurry of applications for new hotel projects 90 have been received 16 hotel projects comprising 2,164 rooms are listed as confirmed.

"Although the overall tourism objectives in the region are different from Dubai's, there are significant similarities in tourism development strategy, namely the proliferation of mixed-use development and waterfront projects, incorporating marinas and golfing facilities," Samson added. "Man-made islands of fantastic designs have also been a strong element." (The Gulf News)


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